Third time’s a charm? Cutting off narcissistic mother

Ice_Fire

MyPTSD Pro
Anyone who’s read my diary knows my mother is/was my primary abuser. I’ve had many goes at cutting her off but years of her abuse and gaslighting resulting in my resolve weakening. Complicated by her being Deaf and I’ve been brought up with the expectation from her and my wider family to be the fixer of all things and free interpreter.

Contract since my dad died a couple of years ago has been limited, with periods of none. But I’ve always let her wiggle her way back in, although much less each time.

I’m finally done. She has sent me dozens of messages over the past few weeks. All of them about her or weird selfies with filters fishing for compliments? Or something? More recently they’ve been accompanied by demands. Not once has she asked me how I’m doing. She’s incapable of it. I sent her a text back saying as much and that I found her rude for not even saying please. The reply I got made it very clear that she doesn’t care one little bit about me.

Not that she ever has, she’s caused me so much pain, literally and emotionally, for my whole life.

So yeah, I’m done. And now I need to ensure I don’t relent this time.
 
So, our situations are a bit different - my mom wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds like your mom was. I went no-contact for 6 months. It ended because I visited over the holidays. That’s a complicated and irrelevant story.

My experience is that no-contact is hard. Just - really hard. At the beginning it was okay (as in, I didn’t feel guilty) because recent events were fresh in my mind. As time went on, the guilt increased and that’s when it started to get harder. My mom also continued messaging me (and sending cards); it took quite a while to recognize that her continued messaging kept the dynamics and relationship “fresh” in my mind in a way that prevented the guilt from ever having a chance to settle down. I thought I could just ignore her, but every here and there she would send dog updates and that kept me from blocking her altogether. I don’t know that she did this intentionally to be manipulative, but yeah.

I did eventually get to a place where the guilt lessened a lot. That took a lot of spontaneous calls with friends affirming and re-affirming that I wasn’t being a terrible person and that my reasons to take space were valid. Several months in, I decided to address her continued messaging. I sent her a screenshot pointing out the different times I tried to set a boundary and told her that the continued messaging was still crossing my boundaries and to please stop. I said a few other strongly worded things related to the event that caused me to go no contact, and she did stop messaging. I felt bad after setting the boundaries that strongly, but I was able to work through that and visiting over the holidays affirmed the need to do that.

The two biggest things that helped:
1) Supportive people around me
2) Deciding to maintain no contact until the guilt decreased to a more manageable level - I wanted to see if I could get to a point where I could put myself first

I am so glad I did it. I made more progress on myself and in my life than I had before. It was so important for helping me disentangle myself from my mom. So so important.

Well done for taking this step! with you along the way.
 
I suggest you block her you from contact through your phone features. Your email will let you as well. You don’t have a ton of contact with extended family. If the situation warrants your attention others will reach out be it her neighbors, family or the police, you shouldn’t have to keep dealing with your abuser. Maybe it would help if you stopped referring to her as mom/mum. If you don’t want to block her then program your child home to say abuser or evil or something. Mum is a title that should be earned.

🫂
 
At the beginning it was okay (as in, I didn’t feel guilty) because recent events were fresh in my mind. As time went on, the guilt increased and that’s when it started to get harder. My mom also continued messaging me (and sending cards);
This is exactly what happened the last couple of times. Back then it was also slightly complicated by the need for me to sort out my Dad’s headstone as well which put me right back into my assigned role and I did it because I wanted his headstone sorted and knew nobody else would do it.
The second time it was straight up guilt though. She acts so helpless and pathetic and was messaging me about car insurance. Which if she didn’t have sorted out she would get pulled over by the police. Well, this year if she doesn’t do it, so be it if she does get pulled.
calls with friends affirming and re-affirming that I wasn’t being a terrible person
Yes I think I’ll need to do this over and over. I actually sent a friend screen shots of the last few texts and had a rant and my friend was like “yeah she’s a narcissistic **** get rid!”
And that was really helpful to sit back and go ‘okay, this outside person thinks the same about her behaviour’.
Pretty classic behaviour.
I know, I do know it’s just so difficult to believe even now after everything that someone could be so calculating and manipulative and horrible. But yes, you’re right she’s just circling back around.
Maybe it would help if you stopped referring to her as mom/mum.
Yeah. I have had various horrible nicknames for her over the years but I think the easiest thing to do is simply refer to her by her name. That’s what she herself does. She only says “love mum” or whatever when she knows she’s pushed too far. Which is manipulative. So, K it is from now on. You’re right that she doesn’t deserve the title anyway.

I scribbled some rhymes down before bed last night. Not sure I’d call it a poem as such but writing to some sort of a rhythm helped the anger and frustration a bit.
 
Hang in there and get support, not just from us but ideally any treatment team you have. I cut off from my father, and he had a disability too (different, traumatic brain injury before I was born) and I was conditioned including culturally to be extra nice etc because of his ‘challenges’, but he was just too cruel and anything asked about me was so he could brag about how he’d supposedly done better at the same or similar things, amongst other and worse manipulations and abuses. Whilst the physical aspects went when I moved out of home, others stayed for years. I cut off a few times, then after trying contact when my son was little (societal pressure primarily), despite never leaving him unattended with my boy nor allowing him to be the driver of my son was in the car, I got increasingly concerned about his behaviour and his role modelling and cut him off.
Things that helped maintain it, other than key supports, were blocking their phone numbers, changing my phone numbers and being very strict about letting my number out, not reading any letters or deliveries from him (a few manipulations in writing and supposed ‘gifts’ like photos of himself and entitlement to ‘His grandson’ as if a possession he owned), and allowing myself to accept reality and grieve for what I’d idealised as possible. He’s never going to change and whilst yes my biological father and I wish him the best especially as his new wife keeps some of his behaviour under control, I don’t need or want his continued abuse, and he still did so even in front of her and with her assistance.
Stay firm, it’s not comfortable to continue when the anger subsides, but continuing with the no contact for me through the guilt and other emotions has led to a weight off after a decade of staying firm. I’ve found it worth it and liberating, though for a time it was hard to not fall to pressure to let him back in.

Hth but well done and keep up the boundaries, you can do it
 
Anyone who’s read my diary knows my mother is/was my primary abuser. I’ve had many goes at cutting her off but years of her abuse and gaslighting resulting in my resolve weakening. Complicated by her being Deaf and I’ve been brought up with the expectation from her and my wider family to be the fixer of all things and free interpreter.

Contract since my dad died a couple of years ago has been limited, with periods of none. But I’ve always let her wiggle her way back in, although much less each time.

I’m finally done. She has sent me dozens of messages over the past few weeks. All of them about her or weird selfies with filters fishing for compliments? Or something? More recently they’ve been accompanied by demands. Not once has she asked me how I’m doing. She’s incapable of it. I sent her a text back saying as much and that I found her rude for not even saying please. The reply I got made it very clear that she doesn’t care one little bit about me.

Not that she ever has, she’s caused me so much pain, literally and emotionally, for my whole life.

So yeah, I’m done. And now I need to ensure I don’t relent this time.
I get it. Different facts, same situation.

I've reached the point of stopping reasoning with them (mom and dad) entirely: no telling them they are rude, etc. They will make themselves the victim of every situation and I end up churning more anger and self-abuse upon myself. I've let all that go, because it's a good world out there, without them.
 
Hi @caroline_13 it’s good to hear that. My mother is the same; no telling her she’s rude, selfish and playing the victim. Always making me out to be the baddie even when I’m doing my absolute best. I’m so tired of it.
 
So it’s been a couple of weeks, overall I’m feeling lighter. Spoke in depth about it with my T. I’m still firmly resolute and feel very calm about it.

I’m now playing with the idea of writing her a letter. My aim is to once and for all, make it clear I’ I’m not contacting her again. I’m not going to reply to her. I don’t owe her anything but I want to have some closure I suppose. And also I have ghosted in the past. Her in particular I’ve had “f*ck this I’m done” moments before. Which didn’t work out and I wonder if it’s partly because I had this feeling of, not owing an explanation but it being ambiguous. If I don’t tell her clearly and don’t tell her my plans (ie, I’m not going to reply so don’t try and this is why) then she’s going to try and try and try again. She may well do anyway but at least I’ll know she knows not to expect it to work. If that makes any sense at all?

I’m also struggling with what to say. There’s so much I could write a damn book but I don’t want to go into it and create any kind of conversation or debate about it. Equally though, I want to tell her enough that there’s no thought from her side that I will go back on it.
 
Do you want a letter for her telling her you are cutting contact because of her behavior, or a letter for you to have a final conversation and move forward in your own life?

Because I think those might be two different paths

A letter for her? I doubt she will accept that you are cutting contact or that she's done anything wrong to cause it. I would fear she would take it as a challenge to up her game rather than understanding why you are leaving. I see lots of drama that ends up with you having to do even more work to keep her away because it is about keeping her away from you

A letter for you? A chance for you to say what you need to say to her once and for all, then you can walk away. She still may chase you, but since the letter was for your sake (not hers) then it may not matter as much if she does. Getting a chance to cut contact simply because you want to, rather than doing it because of her behavior, might help you when she gets the whole drama thing going. But it may not matter as much, because this one is about keeping you away from her... if that makes sense?

Just a thought.......
 
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